NAUVOO, Ill. When 70 mph winds whipped through historic Nauvoo in early August downing trees and scattering debris, 44 youth from the Maple Grove Ward, Minneapolis Minnesota Stake, who had just completed a 3.8 mile handcart trek the day before, altered their youth conference plans and assisted the city and Church crews with the clean up.
There were no injuries during the storm, but property damage to trees, fences and signs was extensive throughout the Nauvoo area. The youth assisted Nauvoo Restoration crews in gathering broken limbs and loading trucks. Other youth were divided into teams and dispersed throughout the community to help residents.
After an arduous morning, they ate lunch and resumed working that afternoon. "It was definitely a highlight of our trip. It was neat to see the immediate results of our service," said Addison Johnson, a youth leader.
"We feel blessed to be a part of this," said Bishop Craig Whiting. "It was no accident we were visiting Nauvoo at this time and could have the opportunity to provide needed service."
As a reminder of their experience, the youth returned home with a 22-inch slice of one of the smaller downed tree that came from behind the John Taylor home. They plan to sign the slice and hang it as a reminder to serve, even when it isn't convenient.